Joe Biden
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Some activists believe Biden’s team is making more of an effort than past administrations to address urban shootings; ahead of his inauguration, his team tapped Amber Goodwin, who leads a group focused on gun violence in communities of color, to coordinate policy-focused calls with activists. But the tension over this week’s meetings speaks to the demands that the gun violence prevention movement has placed on Biden—demands to be more inclusive and prioritize ending Black deaths as much as white ones. The political dynamics at play are very different from the ones Biden navigated as Obama’s vice president when he tried to pass gun control in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. At the time, Black activists, including [pastor Mike] McBride, criticized Biden for focusing too much on white kids dying in school shootings and not nearly enough on Black kids dying from gang-related shootings.

In the intervening years, the movement has broadened its lens, and Biden’s campaign signaled it had, too. And though the White House has yet to take action on its promised gun control agenda, activists remain cautiously optimistic that the Biden administration will fight against gun violence in all its forms.

— Samantha Michaels and Kara Voght in Biden’s White House Is Ready to Tackle Gun Violence. Black-Led Groups Hope They Won’t Be Excluded.

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